TNA: Can This Really Be The End?
TNA had been a great source of wrestling entertainment when it debuted in 2002. The first ten years of this promotion provided us with some innovative angles and some fresh new faces. The introduction of the six sided ring in 2004 was something American audiences had not seen before and made TNA stand out from it's main competitor WWE. The X-Division was probably the most innovative use of talent to make TNA different also. Utilizing high flying moves and truly "Total Nonstop Action" the X-Division made TNA a highly enjoyable and real alternative to other wrestling programs at the time. TNA managed to create it's own stars in the meanwhile. Talented performers like Abyss, Bobby Roode, Homicide, Suicide,Eric Young,Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Austin Aries and A.J.Styles have made a name for themselves under the TNA brand. While these performers have had careers outside of TNA it is the television time that TNA provided them with that has made them "name" stars in the wrestling genre. I had truly enjoyed the TNA product until recent years. Enter Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff. TNA had turned a corner and it would look to be the beginning of it's demise. 2010 began a traumatic time for TNA that started the spiral downward to the unfortunate circumstance it is in now. Abandoning the six sided ring caused TNA to lose some identity. Hiring cast offs from WWE and focusing more on these older and overused high profile names took away from the younger dynamic talent on the TNA roster. Essentially, TNA became, to use a term by Jim Ross, "WWE Lite". I can assume that anyone watching TNA is or has been a fan of the WWE. Bringing in former WWE talent did not make for a better viewing experience overall. Rehashing stories and matches that viewers had seen done already and done better by the same talents during their prime years just watered down and devalued the TNA brand. By removing or downplaying what made TNA different and exciting TNA alienated it's core fan base and created it's own downfall. I would agree that there are a few WWE talents that had made interesting runs in TNA, mainly Christian and Kurt Angle. Bubba/Bully Ray is still a great worker also but these talents should have been utilized more to enhance the original and younger talent that TNA has to offer. The recent announcement that TNA will no longer have a contract with Spike TV is sad for the wrestling fans. The WWE will now be the only regularly aired programming on weekly television. A lack of competition is never good for business. Although TNA hasn't been close to the WWE in ratings there was still the possibility of something exciting or groundbreaking coming from the competition. Now the competition seems to have been eliminated. TNA's demise also means fewer talents will have a television platform to show off their skills. The WWE has also been cutting positions for talent as well, making the job market for professional wrestlers on television shrink even further. It is a bleak time for wrestling fans and workers alike. I only hope that TNA can stage a comeback or a new promotion enters the fray and gives the fans a fresh crop of talent and vision to combat the "only game in town" of the WWE.